Originally Posted by WDSchock
Don't try this at home.
We used to have a foundry way back when - serious know how required.
We were taught small scale casting in junior high school shop class. My grandfather was a patternmaker as well (as an aside, have you ever seen a big pattern for a ships prop or such? Pure art or sculpture but done to a machinists standard of accuracy - I wish I had more time with him).
I disagree about serious know how being required for casting small parts - it is a fairly simple process. Serious CAUTION
is required though since you will be dealing with MOLTEN METAL
at temperatures in the THOUSANDS of degrees.
That is as serious as a heart attack.
You need to have high quality protective gear - that cheap plastic face shield won't cut it if you get splashed with 2K degree molten metal. Bronze vapours are pretty toxic as well - I'd wear a respirator, not just count on ventilation.
At a MINIMUM, you should have a full welding apron, heavy boots, such as worn by welders, heavy gauntlet style gloves, a quality full face shield and a respirator. NEVER wear any clothing made from man made materials - they are plastics of various kinds and will melt into your skin if you spill molten metal on them. Checking with your version of Workers Safety & Compensation to find their requirements for foundry workers would be a good idea.
Finally, stick to bronze - don't try casting stainless steel, aluminium etc. at home. Starting with lead for practice might be a good idea - it's easier to work with - much lower temps etc.